White-washed streets and mountain peaks: experience the enchanting White Villages of Andalusia
One of the most popular things to do in Ronda and nearby is a tour of the White Villages of Andalusia, with many travellers keen to take on the famous trail exploring the iconic whitewashed streets. Ronda is surrounded by valleys and mountains in which you’ll find the famous pueblos blancos of Andalusia, located in the Sierra de Grazalema, an official UNESCO site. This iconic journey is famous for a reason; travellers can’t get enough of the authentic Andalusian white villages and stunning views. We recommend you visit the two most beautiful white villages, Zahara de la Sierra and Grazalema, which we’re sure will take your breath away!
A wonderful tour through Zahara de la Sierra
La Zahara de la Sierra is an official Historical Site boasting one of the most impressive landscapes; this white town sits next to a beautiful reservoir that appears turquoise on sunny days. The town is an image taken straight from a postcard; whitewashed houses decorated with flowers, streets filled with orange trees and mountains & greenery always providing a beautiful backdrop.
It’s a characteristic mountain village at an altitude of 500m, with an intriguing hillside position which means the streets are at different levels. It’s the perfect opportunity to take some impressive photos! It also boasts an artificial beach, called ‘La Playita’, if you’re craving some sand and sea, after your journey on the trail of the white villages. Moreover, the traditional architecture and narrow, whitewashed streets will give you an insight into the town’s Moorish past. Zahara’s castle still remains, built in the 13th century and one of the main fortresses that protected Ronda against Christian invasions. The remains are particularly impressive and provide the passersby with stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
White Villages Tour through Grazalema
Grazalema is the highest and most mountainous of all the white villages you can visit in the Cadiz province. It sits on a valley of over 800m in the Sierra del Edrinal. This old town is famous for its winding alleys, plazas filled with tapas bars, and its stunning viewpoints over the Sierra de Grazalema National Park. The town acts as a base for the many hikers who come to take advantage of the National Park, known for its rugged limestone mountains.
Famous for its wool production tradition, producing high quality, organic fabric, you can visit the traditional mills which were used for both wool production and olive oil extraction.
In these white towns you will appreciate a simpler and slower pace of life. Take a trip back in time and experience a more traditional way of life, learning about the cultivation of olive oil, the production of handmade leather and culinary experiences using organic products grown on the surrounding farms. These local trades have remained a tradition for centuries in the pueblos, with craftsmen passing down their skills to their families to continue producing the goods.
The locals here are full of life and soul; passionate about their land and customs and willing to share their traditions with travellers who visit. Part of our Slow Travel philosophy is keeping tourism sustainable by helping the local community to continue their traditional trades and sell their products, so make sure to check out the local shops, bars and restaurants to support sustainable tourism in Spain.
Perhaps you’ve been to the White Villages of Andalusia before, if you have let us know in the comments what you thought and any tips or must-see places, we would love to hear about your experience!
- Written by @SlowRonda Team